Saturday, August 30, 2014

Gridiron Challenge Player Eliminator Week 1

Week 1 is always difficult for making decisions because ever team is starting fresh and there are a ton of question marks surrounding each team.  Just because a team defense couldn't stop the run last season, it doesn't mean that in Week 1 their opponent will rush for 150 yards.  Obviously, the same can be said about the leagues worst pass defense last season.  That brings me to Nick Foles vs the Jaguars.  Right now 36.8% of the nation is taking him as their Week 1 starter.  Sure the Eagles will most likely destroy the Jags, but it's important to remember that the Eagles have LeSean McCoy, who led Philly to the top of the league in rushing yards.  Philly was 27th in the league in passing attempts per game.  Foles attempted 30+ passes in just 3 games and eclipsed 300 yards just twice.  I know I said that you can't use last year to understand a team, but with a Chip Kelly offense, you can expect the same results year in and year out.

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I am going with the Carson Palmer (1.6%) against the San Diego Chargers.  Sucks that I will have to wait for the 2nd game on Monday Night Football to see results, but I love the matchup. Larry Fitzgerald, and Michael Floyd will give the Bolts corners problems and Andre Ellington can catch passes out of the backfield.  Rookie CB Jason Verrett is dealing with a shoulder injury, and I know that I said you can't rely on last season but the Chargers did little to bolster the 4th worst secondary in the NFL.

Two running backs per week, 17 weeks, that is 34 running backs that will be needed.  Sure injuries will provide you with a useful back you haven't used yet down the line, but I suggest starting the season with guys who might not see enough snaps later in the season.  With the Ray Rice suspension and Knowshon Moreno's (1.1%) injury, Bernard Pierce (6.1%) and Lamar Miller (0.3%) seem like decent options, but Pierce vs the Bengals is a terrible matchup, and with the progress Moreno has made this offseason, Miller might not be such a great play even with that matchup with the Patriots.

Instead, I am going with two veterans who have fallen off the face of the fantasy earth.  Frank Gore (15.3%) has been one of the most consistent backs over the past decade, but that's the problem, his age. Even still, a matchup against the Cowboys is a great way to start the NFL season, and no need to worry about Carlos Hyde in Week 1. The other player I added to my roster is Arian Foster (8.9%). Foster went from the #1 overall draft pick to a potential 3rd round pick in a single season. However, the Texans will face a mediocre Redskins defense and if Foster is such an injury risk, it's best to use him now before his season is over!   McCoy (31.6%), Matt Forte (17.6%) and Jamaal Charles (17.6%) are the most popular picks.


Because of the love for Foles Week 1, people are pairing him up with Riley Cooper (18.1%) and Jeremy Maclin (12.0%). Calvin Johnson (19.4%), Brandon Marshall (15.9%), Demaryius Thomas (13.4%) & Alshon Jeffery (10.8%) and Michael Crabtree (10.7%) are also added on at least 10% of rosters.  I love the idea of pairing your QB with a WR so I have added Michael Floyd (1.7%) to my roster. Larry Fitzgerald is selected on just 2.2% of rosters. Week 1 is also a great week to play injury prone players who are healthy, like Percy Harvin (3.1%). It's also the perfect matchup against the Packers secondary, which is why he is on my roster this week.

This is the same reason I am slotting Rob Gronkowski (1.8%) at the TE position. He played some minor contact drills at practice, but I can swap him out closer to kickoff if he doesn't play in Week 1. Tim Wright is not an available option.  Jimmy Graham (15.9%), Brent Celek (11.2%) and Vernon Davis (10.1%) are the top 3 TEs. I am not sure why so much love for Celek over Zach Ertz (3.5%).

You are on your own for Kicker and Defense.

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